GENSLER Principal Lukasz Platkowski: the World of Work is Undergoing a Tectonic Shift

Lukasz Platkowski, Principal and Design Leader at GENSLER, presents his vision on how the world of work undergoes a tectonic shift, due to advancements in technology such as artificial intelligence and job automation, which are disrupting the already known and tested working models. Our new lifestyles, needs and expectations are shaping the way we work, and this is overwriting the boundaries between workstyle and lifestyle.

Our design philosophy is always to look at what the person does, I think right now there is a big trend, and pretty much every one is really focusing in people, on how people are using the space but we at GENSLER also have this huge data that we've collected over 20 years, that we really understand trends of the future, and we really understand how those trends are shaping the way that people are behaving right now, and how they will be behaving in the future, what they will be expecting from their workplace.

GENSLER is the largest architecture firm in the world, with more than 50 years of experience, they've collected huge amounts of data, which they now transform into insights and practice them in their new projects, pushing the architecture and design realms further into the future.

We are using quite a lot of data, we are very proud to create a data-driven design. We invest in research, 18% of our profit we invest in research, and one of the deepest research we've done, and it's over 20 years. Is what we call WPI (work performance index) we basically interview our clients, and their users, of how they are using the space, what they feel comfortable with, how the space impacts the way  that they are working. That gives us huge amounts of data, and then through that data we understand what people are expecting. 

But also, very recently in our New York office we installed quite a lot of sensors that are tracking how people are behaving within the office, and this is a beta project for ourselves and this haven't been done before, but we are seeing how people are using the spaces in a very different way, where people are interacting, where people are gathering, and by doing that it will allow us in the future to showcase how we can change the design of the offices and the design of the offices. 

Courtesy of GENSLER

Since the firm has developed many large scale projects, including the Shanghai Tower, or the NVIDIA headquarters, there are different relevant technologies for different sectors of real estate. In tall buildings, for example, the most relevant technology could be associated to lifting technologies, for residential architecture it could be material techniques, but what Lukasz shares as what he thinks will have the biggest impact in the industry, is the "invisible technology which underlays in smart buildings."

It is difficult to say what technology will really impact the industry the most, but as a overlying factor when we are thinking about technology we are thinking about invisible technology that allows to use the building in a very smart way, and it allows the building to track and adapt to the people that are occupying that building. So this is something that we will not see, but the building will be a lot smarter, because of that technology.

Accenture Innovation Hub Tokyo. Image Courtesy of GENSLER

Lukasz Platkowski's vision on the future of workstyle, data and techonologies, is one of the many perspectives presented and discussed during the Architecture of the Future Conference, held in Kyiv, Ukraine, on October 2019.

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Cite: Soledad Sambiasi. "GENSLER Principal Lukasz Platkowski: the World of Work is Undergoing a Tectonic Shift" 12 Nov 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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